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Opera Paralléle to Host Annual UP CLOSE AND PARALLÈLE Gala, Featuring Jukebox Opera, Today

San Francisco, August 31, 2015 - Acclaimed Opera Parallèle will present its annual gala benefit Saturday, October 3, at 6:30 pm, at Marines' Memorial Club in San Francisco featuring an original "Jukebox Opera" entitled Heroes, created by the Company's artistic team and performed by baritone Michael Mayes, who performed the role of Joe DeRocher in OP's 2015 production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. The performance will showcase another side of this charismatic artist together with Opera Parallèle's Founder and Artistic Director Nicole Paiement and Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel, who will trace the journey of a hero in arias by Heggie, Bernstein, Adamo, and others. The evening will also include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dinner, performance, and auction presented in The Commandant's Ballroom & Lounge at the classic 1920's Beaux-Arts hotel, Marines' Memorial Club. Tickets are priced from $350, with tables and sponsorships available for $3,500-$10,000 and all proceeds benefit Opera Parallèle and its cutting-edge productions including this season's premiere at SFJAZZ of Terence Blanchard's Champion February 19-28 and Peter Maxwell Davies' The Lighthouse April 29-May 1 at ZSpace in San Francisco. For tickets and information, visit www.operaparallele.orgor call Roma Olvera at 415.626.6279.

"So many audience members throughout the Bay Area and internationally are familiar with our innovative and collaborative main stage productions, but our annual benefit event is an opportunity to get up close and personal with Opera Parallèle and our community of artists and supporters," said Robert Ripps, President of the Opera Parallèle Board of Directors. "Our gala is one of many events throughout the year that bring a different focus and scale to opera, from our education programs to creative community outreach events like last year's sold-out evening of music and discussion in advance of our production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. All of these events and our wonderful, acclaimed productions are supported, in part, by the gala. This year, the OP team has put together a stunning evening of arias and excerpts that trace heroes in opera and show another side to the charismatic Michael Mayes, who was featured in Dead Man Walking."

Honorary Chairs for the evening include Carol Franc Buck, Bob Ellis & Jane Bernstein, and Ann G. & Gordon P. Getty. The Host Committee includes Charles & Margaret Charmas, Philip Goward, Bernice & John Lindstrom, Alice Morison & Oakley Hewitt, Robert Ripps & Steven Spector, Elizabeth Theil & Brian Kincaid, and Paul Woolford & Rick Freeman. Auction Co-Chairs are Judy Gough and Cheryl Ruby.

ABOUT OPERA PARALLÈLE

The award-winning Opera Parallèle develops and performs contemporary operas in a dynamic balance of known and new works, in new productions that shed light on their subject matter and engage audiences' senses and sensibilities. Opera Parallèle is the only organization in the Bay Area presenting fully cast and staged contemporary operas exclusively.

Opera Parallèle also commissions new orchestrations of contemporary grand operas, to give a sense of intimacy to its productions and to give a new life to works which might not otherwise be performed.

Artistic Director Nicole Paiement founded Opera Parallèle (originally Ensemble Parallèle) to perform new music and to collaborate "in parallel" with various artists including dancers, choreographers, visual and multimedia artists. These collaborations have enriched the Company's productions and appeal to a wide-ranging audience, from seasoned opera-goers and classical music enthusiasts to contemporary art and dance-goers.

In 2007 Opera Parallèle began to focus exclusively on contemporary opera, and in February of that year the organization presented the world premiere of Lou Harrison's opera Young Caesar. Most recently its productions have included the California premiere of Alban Berg's Wozzeck in a chamber orchestration by composer John Rea (2010); the Bay Area premiere of Philip Glass' opera Orphée (2011); and Virgil Thompson's Four Saints in Three Acts in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with the international exhibition The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde. In February 2012, Opera Parallèle performed the world premiere of its commissioned reorchestration of John Harbison's opera The Great Gatsby. 2013/2014 was a year filled with new works, from Osvaldo Golijov's riveting opera Ainadamar, Opera Parallèle's Graphic Opera Project, Gesualdo - Prince of Madness, Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, Adam Gorb's Anya17, and a double bill of the Weill/Brecht Mahagonny Songspiel with the Poulenc/Apollinaire Les mamelles de Tirésias. The company's growth continued in the 2014-15 season with its hugely successful production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, which was presented in February, 2015 in San Francisco and in March, 2015 at Santa Monica's Broad Stage, followed by the May 2015 American Premiere performances of Tarik O'Regan's edgy Heart of Darkness in a striking production at San Francisco's Z Space.

Since it was founded, Opera Parallèle has presented 157 performances including 31 world premieres, released 14 recordings, and commissioned 20 new works; and has performed in North America, Australia, and Asia.



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